MANILA - In a fateful turn, Representatives Imelda Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo voted against the bill reimposing the death penalty, which was approved Tuesday on third and final reading at the House of Representatives.
Marcos and Arroyo join known death penalty opponents Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc, despite Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s warning that those who vote against capital punishment will be removed from leadership positions in Congress.
“We have to replace her as Deputy Speaker…Leadership bill ito, kung hindi ka sang ayon sa liderato, it will be awkward na kasama sa leadership tapos di ka sumasama,” Alvarez said in February, referring to Arroyo.
Arroyo abolished the death penalty during her presidency, despite briefly supporting it as a deterrent for drug-related crimes and kidnappings.
Marcos’ vote, on the other hand, was contrary to her husband’s view on capital punishment—Ferdinand Marcos supported capital punishment during his 21-year presidency.
Other lawmakers who voted against the death penalty included Rep. Vilma Santos Recto, pro-life lawmakers Lito Atienza and Mariano Michael Velarde of BUHAY Party-list, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, among others.
Cebu City Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa abstained from voting.
The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill reimposing the death penalty, but only for drug-related offenses, in a bid to bolster the Duterte administration's anti-narcotics drive.
The House last week approved on second reading the version which makes the death penalty an option for judges to impose it on those convicted for drug-related offenses.
A total of 216 voted in favor; 54 voted against; 1 abstained.